Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration

Lots of finallys today! Mr. Berkley is finally conehead free. He's happy, I'm happy. He has also finished up all the medication that I had to give him for various reasons, and has gotten a clean bill of health. Makes me VERY happy :) We are having a lovely rain shower here in Chicago. Everything is so very dry. The temperature has finally gotten below 80 million degrees, and the air conditioner has finally been turned off. I'm so grateful for air conditioning, but I love when I can turn it off and enjoy fresh air. 

We attended a wedding this past weekend. The bride was lovely. It was hard for me to look at her and not remember her as a child. She was visiting with us one weekend when she was maybe 5, my husband was sick. I couldn't find her, came in our room and found her on the bed next to Carl, sitting on her knees, just as happy as she could be, not the least bit intimidated, talking away. 
On another occasion,  her dad had left she and her brothers with me while he ran an errand. I asked them if they would like a soft drink. "Sure!" When their dad returned, he saw the empty drinks and said, "you gave my kids that soda?!!" I didn't know what to say. His daughter did not skip a beat. She said, "no, no, we're just helping her pick up the bottles." He knew good and well that I had given them the drinks, but her response was so quick, and so thoughtful, how could he be angry? He and I have laughed about that moment many times :)
I can remember her dad worrying about every aspect of her life, getting her into the right school, the right university, the right guy. The finallys of their lives arrived, she finished #1 from dental school, and she married the right guy. 

I came across some interesting pocket designs and thought you might enjoy seeing them

This pocket detail is a tutorial from Threads. You can find the tutorial HERE.

This is another version in a different shape. Love the addition of the tab closure. 

This is a fabulous pocket detail! Not so sure of how well it will hold anything, but it looks great :)

Another fun little pocket. Just a twist on a welt pocket.

I couldn't find where this picture came from, but how pretty! This is most likely on the inside of a garment, but it is pretty enough to be a fabulous detail on the outside of the garment.

This is a leather garment, but it would work with a woven. Basically gives a double pocket.

I don't particularly care for the square pocket, but I thought the idea of giving interest from the shoulder down into the pocket was interesting.

This pocket has me stumped just a bit, but I love it. I think the jacket was sewn together, and then the opening for the pocket was done. Beautifully executed.

Hope that's given you a few ideas, maybe 1 or 2 to save :)

I've thought a bit about finally. I know I'm guilty of saying, "when this is finally over," or, "when we finally get to this point..." I've received a few text messages from my friend, I can hear the longing in the words, finally came all too fast. I'm learning, but it has taken almost a lifetime, to just enjoy the moment and not wish for finally.

Have a wonderful week. 

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sunday Night Reflections

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The Guacamole Can Swim!

The board for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago met at my house yesterday to plan out our upcoming year, and of course, I could not let them go without lunch!

Whenever I entertain, I do my best to try and have items that will satisfy diet restrictions. That of course can be a very tricky thing. In order to try and provide something that everyone could eat, I had the loveliest heirloom tomatoes that I sliced, sprinkled with a little dried oregano, and some sun-dried tomato infused olive oil. I made my favorite fruit salad, mango, peaches, and cantaloupe. Finally, I made one of my favorite tuna salad recipes. This recipe has no mayonnaise, yogurt, or sour cream, so anyone who may have an egg or dairy issue, I'm in good shape. Well, I'm in good shape as long as they can eat tuna!!! 

The recipe is super simple. I take 4 avocados and mash them well.

The mashed avocados are then mixed into 4, 4 oz. cans of drained tuna. I always get tuna in water, and I try and get the best quality tuna.

A small onion is chopped and added to the mixture. 

And finally, 1 bunch of cilantro is finely chopped. Really turns the mixture into a bright green goddess concoction. 

When I am not serving this to guests, I usually chop up a jalapeno pepper and add it to the mix. In the end, the salad is basically guacamole with tuna!

When making the salad, be sure to save the avocado seeds in case you have leftovers. The avocado seeds will help keep the avocado from turning dark. The salad will store well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.  

The salad can be served on a bed of greens, or on a hearty piece of bread with greens. 

The Goddess of Greens Tuna Salad

4 medium avocados mashed
4 4oz, cans of good tuna
1 small white onion finely chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro finely chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
1 finely chopped jalapeno (optional)

Mix all ingredients. 
Serve as a sandwich spread, or over a bed of greens. If serving over a bed of greens, drizzle with a little olive oil.
Save the avocado seeds to store with leftovers.



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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Month Of Woven Tees/ Week 2

I am getting this post in by the skin of my teeth! At least it's still Tuesday in Chicago ;)

This is week 2 of the Woven Tee Challenge that Becky of Trial Balloons and I are doing. This week, we looked to the Orient for our inspiration, using vintage kimono fabrics as inspiration.

Check out Becky's fabulous tee! You can read all about her inspiration, how she put the Kung Fu Bunny tee together that she made for me(a great story), and see her lovely tea recipe HERE

I decided to use the same pattern for the entire challenge. I think it's fun to see lots of possibilities with just 1 pattern. and since it's a free pattern, all the better! You can find the pattern HERE on the Fabric-store.com site.

A friend of mine from Texas had a wonderful store in Galveston for years. At that time, she was able to get bundles of vintage/antique kimonos from Japan. She told me that when the bundles would arrive, it was a lot like Christmas as you never knew exactly what might be in the bundle. Of course the kimonos, but sometimes fabrics, and other clothing. The kimonos that were in good shape, she would sell, the others, she meticulously took apart and used the pieces for the most incredible table runners that she would make and then sell. She ultimately closed the store, and brought home all of the leftovers. In time, she realized that her years were growing short, and that she would never be able to use all that she had, so she began finding homes for her beloved fabrics and scraps. I was the lucky recipient of some wonderful pieces. 

My top. 
I had quite a bit of the black fabric, I think it must have been an entire kimono. The contrast strip was just a small piece, initially about twice as wide as what you see. Since the kimono fabric is only 14" wide, and I'm not!!!, I had to piece the fabric, and decided to offset the contrast.     

Rather than sew the raglan seam together on the left sleeve, I left it open, used a bit of the cream fabric from the contrast strip to accent the opening. I gave a nod to the beautiful Chinese knots with the ties.  

I used the leftover piece of the contrast strip on the sleeve. 

For the back, I was able to just put a seam down center back.

I had just a bit of the cream fabric leftover, so I folded it and did an insert on the right sleeve. Once again, the fabric is only 14" wide, so the sleeve needed to be pieced and this made it look like it was intentional.

This was such a fun project, and I am in love with my tee. It will make a great travel piece as I can pair it with a lovely pair of pants, or a skirt for an evening out, and it can also be worn a little more casually as well. I'm going to Galveston the end of October, and I know my friend is going to be so very pleased :)

Now for my recipe. Like Becky, it's a drink, but rather than a hot tea drink, this one is perfect for a hot summer afternoon. 

My favorite chai tea is from Adagio Teas. The name is of course a play on the slang term for Chicago, Chi Town. The tea comes in a lovely tin.

Take a look at the lovely spices. Heavenly.

For my Frozen Summer Chai, I brew a cup of the chai tea, you'll need 1 cup.
I mix the tea with 1/2 cup of Almond and Coconut milk. Place the mixture in a blender, and add sweetener of choice. Mine is stevia.

Add a handful of ice, and blend.
I serve the drink in a big wine goblet and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top.

Guaranteed to cool you on the hottest of days :) And it will satisfy that late afternoon sweet tooth too!

I hope that Becky and I have inspired you a bit. There are a number of vendors that come to the sewing expos with baskets of vintage kimono pieces. So pick up a few and make your own tee!

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration/When The Flood Gates Break!

Some of you may remember from earlier this summer that I put myself on a very restrictive fabric buying diet...no new fabric until after August 1st. Well, I did okay. But, I did buy the tea towels that I designed from my painting, and I also purchased the mirrored yardage. I am also cleaning up my studio. Those posts will resume soon. The doctor had asked that with this second eye surgery that I be particularly careful about not picking things up, and bending over. Tomorrow is freedom day, no more drops, and back to life as usual :)

Over the weekend, with my no fabric moratorium being over, I took a trip up to Gayfeather Fabrics in Madison, WI along with 5 other friends. We had a blast!!! 

I actually showed some restraint and picked out pieces that I knew I would make up quickly. I'll share more later, but this piece was especially fun...

Virginia had these wool panels that I thought were especially interesting. I decided to purchase 2. At just $5.00 per panel, a steal!

I wanted something fun to go with the panels. Found the piece above, went back and forth about it.

Then I flipped the fabric over to the so called "wrong side," and I loved it! I will be making the jacket below. The panels will be a skirt, just not exactly sure of how it will be executed.

If by chance you noticed the top I am wearing in the first picture, it was a gift, and what an amazing gift!!! Totally unexpected. I came home last Thursday and found a box waiting for me. Becky of Trial Balloons had sent an amazing treasure chest of fabrics. Included in the box was the top.

I had sent her the small piece that you see, on the bottom left of the top in the top left picture. It was a piece that a friend of mine had given me. It came from an antique kimono. Becky had the Kung Fu Bunny. What a hoot! Take note of the hand stitching she did around the edges. 

Love how the back was pieced, and if you look closely, on the back of the top, there are 3 small red stitches. Such a sweet touch.

Just a few of the other special pieces that were in the box...

The piece below did not photograph all that well, so much prettier in person. It's double sided. The pieces aren't large, but what a special accent they will be!

This piece is about 12" wide, but rather long, so another beautiful accent piece.

Her son had brought this back to her from China. She said that the colors were just not quite her, but thought I would enjoy it. I do! What I think I am going to do with the piece is actually use the back side for an unlined jacket. That way, when I take the jacket off, you'll see the amazing inside! 

I also want to share this sweet gift that my friend Sue gave me,

She didn't make the bag, but did the embroidery. It was the perfect accessory for our Gayfeather shopping trip. What I especially like about the bag is that it has snaps so the top can be closed up a bit. 

So yes, the flood gates broke ;) I can now buy fabric once again. But, my break gave me some space, a chance to really look at what I have, cherish what I have, and think first before I buy.  

Before I go, I want to share my shawl. This is the Honeycomb  Wrap from Purl Soho. I was seeing honeycombs in my sleep before it was over :/ But, it's done, I'm happy, and I can't wait to wear it! Now all I need is some cold weather ;) 

Just had to make a note about this picture...

Conehead Berkley is in the chair ;) He has been with us now for 3 weeks. As we were getting ready to go to bed last night, my husband said, "I can't believe it, you've created yet another monster." He was referring to the fact that Berkley is already so very attached to me, and wants to be with me all-the-time. Oh well :) 

Have a fabulous week!

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Supper/Zucchini Pie

I just love when all the fresh vegetables begin to make their way into the market. When I was growing up, we ate squash, but it was always yellow squash. I had never heard of zucchini squash until we moved to Chicago. But, it was love at first bite. There are so many dishes that can be made, everything from zucchini bread, to pasta dishes. 

I especially love Zucchini Pie, or some would say quiche. My recipe is super simple, and minus the crust!   

I begin by cutting up 3 medium size zucchini.

A little spice is always a good thing in my book, and I especially like this cheese from Boar's Head. It is a bit spicy, so if you would prefer, a colby/jack blend without the peppers will work just fine. 

The zucchini is sauteed in a little olive oil with garlic until tender. Salt, black pepper, oregano, along with the cubed cheese is added to the sauteed zucchini, and placed in a greased pie dish.

Three beaten eggs are then poured over the zucchini cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Allow the pie to cool slightly, about 10 minutes before cutting. Slice, serve, and devour!

This pie is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If serving for breakfast, add a fruit salad on the side. For lunch or dinner, a nice green salad, or a cup of soup will be perfect. 

Here's the recipe...

Zucchini Pie

3 medium zucchini sliced into small pieces. 
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 cup colby/jack 
3 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Saute zucchini and garlic in olive oil until tender, about 15 minutes. Combine zucchini with cubed cheese, salt, pepper, dried oregano and pour in greased pie dish. Pour beaten eggs over zucchini mixture. Stir slightly to distribute eggs evening through zucchini.
Place in preheated oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until eggs are set and pie is browned.

Allow pie to cool slightly before slicing, about 10 minutes. 

Hope you enjoy your zucchini pie as much as I enjoyed mine!

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